MusicMagpie founder Walter Gleeson buys a huge stake in non league club AFC Telford United with the hope to climb the leagues.
The aim is to help fulfil the National League North outfit’s clear potential, with Gleeson’s Highclear Investments buying up the Shropshire side’s “unallocated share capital”, making him the second largest shareholder.
The entrepreneur said since moving to the area, he had become “an avid supporter of local football”.
The BBC’s Nick Southall said it was the young club’s “biggest moment” so far since being formed by fans in 2004 following the old Telford United’s liquidation.
Mr Gleeson, from Monkhopton near Bridgnorth, said his interest in football had led to him supporting his son’s junior team and sponsoring big cup games in the county.
NEWS: AFC Telford United are delighted & proud to announce that Highclear Investments has purchased the remaining unallocated share capital of the club.
— AFC Telford United (@telfordutd) January 1, 2022
He went on to add that he was approached with a request to support the Bucks and having seen how well they was operating, it had not taken him long “to want to help in anyway I could”.
His firm wants to work closely with the majority shareholder, the Pryce family, and in particular with chairman Andy Pryce and his team “to bring even greater fire power to help fulfil the club’s clear potential in 2022 onwards”.
Mr Pryce said the club was looking forward to forging a strong partnership with the firm, which would “bring invaluable and unique experience to the football club board”.
AFC Telford United are delighted and proud to announce that Highclear Investments has purchased the remaining unallocated share capital of AFC Telford United, the Pryce family remaining
the majority shareholder. Highclear Investments is the investment vehicle for Walter Gleeson –
who co-founded musicMagpie with Steve Oliver in 2007.
Andy Pryce, Chairman of AFC Telford United said, “I have always said that we would welcome the right investment and investors to benefit the football club’s future and now we are very excited to have found the ideal partner in Highclear Investments. They will bring invaluable and unique experience to the football club Board and we are very much looking forward to forging a strong partnership with Highclear to benefit the long-term interests of AFC Telford United. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Walter and the Highclear team into the AFC Telford family and we are very motivated to convert this terrific opportunity into success both on and off the pitch.”
Walter Gleeson said, “Since moving to Shropshire I have been an avid supporter of local football, from supporting my son’s junior team to sponsoring big cup games in the county. When I was approached to see if I could support AFC Telford United it didn’t take me long, after meeting the Board to see how well it was operating, to want to help in anyway I could. With this investment, I am excited that we at Highclear will have the opportunity to work closely with Andy Pryce and his management team on the Board of AFC Telford United to bring even greater fire-power to help fulfil the club’s clear potential in 2022 onwards and to supporting the wonderful town of Telford.”
Twitter users reacted after learning that the MusicMagpie founder buys a huge stake in the non league club with the hope to climb the leagues…
@alanjenkins96: Very positive news, I’m hoping that careful investment & support for our new manager will see us off the bottom of the league and after that, anything is possible
@1LAyres: Fantastic news… well done to everyone at the club that has pulled this off. Just what the club needed IMO
@afcbally: Great news to start the new year 👏👏👏
@Cooper90P: We’re gonna win the fuckin lot!!! Up the bucks
@jonsmartuk: Premier league here we come!
@SarahLeeder1: A welcome investment. Much needed. New Year, fresh start. Let’s get behind the team now.
@BucksTales84: Can I trade in my Xbox one for a season ticket????
@AaronJN94: Great news, was extremely disappointing seeing Telford against Chester the other week. Shadow of its former self, hopefully they can get back on it and push back through the league
@NickT04: We are gonna piss the NPL 😜
@DesCompton: Great news! Well done to the Board on attracting the investment and finalising the deal. The future of the club looks a lot brighter today.
@KevTheBuck: “Telford Utd have been offered Paul Pogba for £40m, but we’ve told them we only value him at £2.50 but we will offer free postage”
@LukeF125: Brilliant news! I know how hard and diligently the board will have worked to ensure this was the right deal. Can’t wait to see what this brings but important to remain grounded in the short-term as we fight to get off the bottom.
@MichaelNadal8: Good news if used correctly. Sustainable business structure with a little investment each year to take us forward 👍 Well done to the board for achieving this. Let’s not waste the opportunity that it brings #COYB
@Cllrldcarter: Welcome news. ££ alone won’t help the club fulfil its true potential… but combined with backing of the local community in large numbers, anything is possible! Well done to those who’ve worked hard to secure the investment and welcome to Highclear. Here’s to a brighter future.
@kyewazza: this is huge
@Gary_Poynton: I guess you could say they’ve got a lot of Bucks to spend